Friday, January 18, 2013

Ethereal Visions | An interview with Krist Mort

How old were you when you decided Photography was your passion and can you tell us how you found yourself a career as a photographer?

Well, I use a camera. I take pictures. But still, I'm not sure if I actually want to call myself a photographer. I started doing this because I wanted to find a way to portray and create my visions and since I've always been a horrible painter or illustrator, using a camera seemed the only possibility for me.

Your work is very unique and has a very ethereal and dark undertone to it. Where do you find your inspiration for your work and are their central themes you like to visit and re-visit?

I am very lucky with where I live, being surrounded by amazing scenery wherever I go. So, most of my inspiration is just that: my surroundings, how they influence me and what they evoke.

I've read that you are completely self taught. Did you teach yourself through books and mostly trial and error? And what advice would you give to anyone out there who wants to experiment with photography?
Experiments are essential for any artist. Play around with whatever you have at hand and don't be afraid of failure. It was very important for me to learn all by myself. Even though there would be a lot of great opportunities, I think I wouldn't love it as much if I just went to university and studied it.

A lot of your photography features a seductive & feminine aesthetic.  Your photography is mostly made up of self-portraiture. Is there a reason you like to use yourself as the protagonist in a lot of your work?

The reason is simple and not exactly exciting: it's convenient. I can just pack my bags whenever the time feels right to go out and roam the woods or fields for a suitable location and start shooting. Having some kind of intimacy on set is also essential for me and it usually takes a rather long time until I fully connect with someone.

Can you briefly explain the process you undertake from idea to finished photo?
To be honest, I hardly ever have a concrete plan when shooting. There is always an idea, a main theme but other than that (and maybe gathering some props beforehand if needed) I simply enjoy being influenced by the location. I usually take some general composition shots, to see how a setting or pose looks on picture, using a simple digital camera or Polaroid. Everything else is shot on film these days.

Are there any photographers you admire and would love to some day work/collaborate with?
I have never thought about collaborating with other photographers but it would certainly be an interesting and enriching chance.

Is there any subject matter or person you would love to shoot but haven't yet had the opportunity to?
 Definitely! There are quite a lot of people who have been a constant inspiration for me, like Ana from NUIT ( or even Chelsea Wolfe.

How have you managed to maintain your creative control and integrity when working on more commercial photography like fashion shoots for example?

If someone likes the style of my photographs and contacts me for a shoot, I will gladly try to work something out, even if the commission isn't something I would usually do. As long as I know the client appreciates my vision, I am fine with a bit of a challenge.

Is there one piece of your work that you are most fond of or proud of?

I am proud of every photo when it's finished. It's usually after a couple weeks, when looking back at it, that there's always the same thought "I could do so much better now!" So, I'm pretty much in a love / hate relationship with everything I do.

What can we expect from Krist Mort in the future?
 I actually hate expectations and prefer surprises ;)